JAMAICA NEWSWEEKLY For the week ending March 21st, 2008

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THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
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MULLINGS PROMOTES INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY—03/15/08
Clive Mullings, Minister of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, believes that Jamaica can attain “first world” status and have a significant impact on the world via information and communications technology (ICT). Mullings also worried about the “lack of technical capacity” in this area, which could restrict Jamaica’s ability to take advantage of the opportunities presented by ICT.

KINGSTON HOSPITAL RECEIVES CHARITY AID—03/16/08
A tour of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kingston has resulted into a major charity drive. Pat Graham, wife of Hotel Dieu Hospital’s administrator, is leading the effort and hopes that it will become ongoing and provide “truckloads” of equipment, furniture, shoes, and clothing to the Kingston facility.

WOOLMER HOTEL ROOM ATTRACTS TOURISTS—03/17/08
The hotel room in Jamaica where Bob Woolmer, Pakistan cricket coach, was found dead has become a tourist attraction. Woolmer’s body was found in his room at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in March 2007. An international investigation failed to settle the circumstances of his death. According to Lloyd Bremner, the hotel’s general manager, foreigners remain intrigued by the death, and some specifically ask to stay in the room or on the same floor.

FELICE WANTS COPY OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY REPORT—03/18/08
Justin Felice, Assistant Commissioner of Police, wants to review a report by Dr. Herbert Gayle, Jamaican anthropologist, to determine how much rich Jamaicans are providing to fund criminal activity in the country. Felice says it is his job to find all members of criminal groups, regardless of their social status.

FOOD ECONOMIST SAYS JAMAICA MUST ACHIEVE FOOD SECURITY—03/19/08
According to Dr. Ballayram, food economist at the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica will become a “fat and lazy nation” with a huge chronic disease problem if food security is not achieved in the face of increasing food costs in the world market. About 15 percent of Jamaicans cannot meet their food or other living needs, says Ballayram, and seven percent are indigent and unable to find food on a daily basis. Since people eat only what they can afford, they tend to eat things like chicken back instead of fruits and vegetables.

HOLNESS WANTS TO INCREASE MINIMUM AGE FOR SCHOOL LEAVERS—03/20/08
Andrew Holness, Minister of Education, says the Jamaican government is committed to raising the minimum age for leaving school from 16 to 18 years of age. Holness says that 16-year-olds do not have the necessary skills to get jobs and have “no productive use in society.” He says 16-year-olds “need more time in the education factory” to get the skills they need to function in modern society.

SALMON OUT OF JOB IN LIGHT-BULB AFFAIR—03/21/08
Rodney Salmon, director of administration and corporate secretary at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), has been released from his job. A board chaired by Ian Moore examined the auditor general’s special report and the contractor general’s report on the Cuban light-bulb program. The board found that officers of the corporation had to be held accountable for gross negligence in the case.

LEWIN ORDERS REVIEW OF OFF-DUTY POLICE POLICY—03/21/08
Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, Police Commissioner, has decided to review the policy governing the employment of off-duty police officers. Director of Communications at the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Karl Angell, says Lewin directed that the police review be handled as a “matter of urgency.” The review is being performed in response to reports that some policemen were on the payroll of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), including the assistant commissioner of police.

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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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YOUTH GROUP TRIP TO BE INVESTIGATED—03/15/08
Bob Hinchcliffe, a retired police officer in Regina, Canada, is looking for the truth in an inquiry concerning a trip to Jamaica taken by the youth group of a North Central Family Center. The Center (NCFC) announced the inquiry in response to videotape shown in the media. On the tape, participants in the trip, including NCFC assistant director Ivan Amichand and chaperones, were shown drinking tequila shooters at a bar after the marathon. The marathon team, the Dirty Dozen, was created to promote a drug-free, alcohol-free, and tobacco-free lifestyle for at-risk youth. The trip was also funded chiefly by public and corporate donations.

MODERN SCOTS ASHAMED OF SLAVERY ROLE—03/16/08
Both Scotland and Jamaica have reawakened to painful memories of the enslavement of thousands of people on sugar plantations in the West Indies in the past. One of the chief instigators of the reawakening is Geoff Palmer, a Jamaica professor and grain scientist who has spent two years reconstructing the historical links between Scotland and Jamaica during the slavery era. Palmer’s book, The Enlightenment Abolished, details the forgotten actions taken by prominent Scotsmen to perpetuate slavery in Jamaica.

JAMAICAN MAN TO FACE FRAUD CHARGES IN U.S.—03/18/08
Delroy Patterson, 45, a former Jamaican police officer, has allegedly committed fraud in a mortgage racket in South Florida. Patterson fled to Jamaica with his wife, but has been ordered extradited after an appearance in the Half-Way Tree Court. He and his wife, mortgage broker Yvette Scott Patterson, are face fraud charges totaling US$10 million.

CANADIAN SENTENCED FOR KILLING FARM WORKERS—03/20/08
Charles Morris, 28, received a two-year sentence of house arrest for killing two Jamaican farm workers in a vehicle accident. Judge James Turnbull sentenced Morris to house arrest, three years of probation, and a 10-year ban on driving. He must also perform 240 hours of community service by speaking to migrant workers about bicycle safety. Morris was found guilty of running down William Bell and Desmond McNeil, Jamaican farm workers as they bicycled on Highway 59 in Canada in 2005.

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SPORTS
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DAREN POWELL GIVES WINDIES ADVANTAGE—03/15/08
While the batsmen of Jamaica underperformed, fast bowler Daren Powell had two wickets in seven balls to provide the West Indies with the advantage on the first day of their sixth round game in the Carib Series. The Windies played the Windward Islands at the Alpart Sports Club in Nain, St. Elizabeth.

JAMAICA WINDS CARIB BEER CUP—03/16/08
A seven-wicket match haul from Nikita Miller provided Jamaica with the 2008 Carib Beer Cup. The team soundly defeated the Windward Islands by ten wickets in their sixth round Series match.

FOOTBALL CLUB MEMBERS DENIED U.S. VISAS—03/17/08
The Harbor View Football Club (HVFC) is in the United States to participate in the CONCACAF Champions Cup game against DC United, but four of its members will miss the trip. The members were denied visas to make the trip to Washington DC. According to Claude Jureidini, HVFC General Manager, they will meet with U.S. government officials in hopes of creating a policy for providing visas for Jamaican national and club teams without requiring interviews.

FOOTBALL FEDERATION WANTS MORE EXCURSIONS—03/20/08
Michael Ricketts, head of a Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) delegation to Brazil, would like the organization to sponsor more such excursions in the future. He believes these trips will contribute to improving the local base of talent.

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DEVOTIONAL
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Not An End, But A Beginning

Today is Good Friday! The origin of the term “Good” is unclear, but for Christians everywhere around the world, it really doesn’t matter. They could have called this day of memorial whatever they wanted to, because regardless of whatever it was named, it could not change the momentous occasion it commemorated. Over two thousand years ago, Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, having left the splendors of heaven approximately thirty-three earth years earlier, hung on a cross between two thieves, accused of blasphemy by those to whom He had come as the visible manifestation of God, and of treason by the Romans.

How could they not have known who He was? These Chief Priests and Elders who were
practitioners of The Scriptures that spoke so eloquently of Him. He was the promised Messiah as was announced in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15), but on this day, here
he was, “despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows … He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:3,7, KJV). He knew this was His purpose, it having been determined by the Father from before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:18-20). The blood of animals or turtledoves could not pay the price for mankind’s redemption. It would take the shedding of His blood, an event that would cause God the Father to momentarily forsake Him (Matt. 27:46), to bring us back into right standing with God. Centuries earlier, Isaiah foreseeing the day, said of Him, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (53:4,5, ESV).

The human side of Jesus anguished at the thought of His crucifixion, but He willingly
yielded to the will of the Father (Luke 22:42). Everything about that day was for you and I. It was our griefs that He bore, and our sorrows that He carried. It was our transgressions for which He was wounded, our iniquities for which He was crushed. Our chastisement was upon Him, but out of all of that came our peace with God, and by His stripes, thank God, we have been made whole. Christ ‘s death on that Roman cross was not the end; rather i t triumphantly proclaimed our beginning.

As we reflect on this day, and in a time when the Cross and all that it represents is much despised, may you join with the old hymn writer and sing:

“In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see, for ’twas on that old cross
Jesus suffered and died, to pardon and sanctify me.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.”

 

CEW

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CREDITS/SOURCES
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The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.